Class Of 2021 In The Time Of COVID-19


Despite the fact that 200-plus million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, local colleges and universities are taking a broad approach to graduation ceremonies, with all of them including some kind of streaming facet to their approach. Some like LIU University and Hofstra Univeraity are staging limited capacity outdoor ceremonies, where grads are allotted two guests. Some, like Farmingdale College, are thinking out of the box by way of a hybrid Car-Mencement event that allows grads to attend in their automobiles along with as many guests as they can fit in their vehicles. The following are what local schools are doing as of press time.

Local colleges and universities are finding unique ways to send off the Class of 2021
(Photo by Kit/CC BY 2.0)

Adelphi University
May 24
There will be virtual commencement: ceremonies for the Class of 2021 highlighted by a Grad Walk where students are invited to participate with two guests. Plans for an in-person event for Doctoral Hooding will be announced shortly. Graduates may invite two guests. Each graduate will be recognized with an official slide that can be customized with their photo and a personal message. An appointment to walk across the stage at the in-person Grad Walks can also be booked. Visit for more information.


Farmingdale State College
May 22
Farmingdale College will hold Car-Mencement ceremonies to be celebrated with two events separated by the School of Arts & Sciences, School of Health Sciences (10 a.m.) and School of Business, School of Engineering Technology (2 p.m.). Deadline to apply is May 7. One car per graduate, who is allowed to include as many family members and friends that can fit in the car. Vehicles will be parked in a lot on campus and the ceremony will be live streamed. Student names will be read as they pass the stage and each graduate will be handed a diploma cover. In addition to being broadcast over the public address sound system, the ceremony will be simulcast on an AM radio station so car parade participants can tune in. Students who attend Car-Mencement will receive a program, mortar board(cap) and tassel, champagne flute and more. Visit for more information.

Fordham University
May 22
The main University Commencement ceremony will be videocast on the Fordham University web page. During this ceremony, the deans of the University will present their graduates as a group and Father Joseph McShane will officially confer all degrees of the school’s graduates. Retired Navy Admiral Michelle Howard will be the guest speaker. Howard. along with an honorary degree recipient, will address the Class of 2021. Each college and school will host a ceremony in which their graduates will be individually recognized. The dean’s offices at each college and school will be in touch directly with the graduates to announce their plans. Visit for more information.

Hofstra University
May 23 and May 24
A Webcast-Virtual Commencement will be held on May 23. (only those who RSVP’d as virtual will be recognized in this ceremony). In-person commencement takes place outdoors on May 24 in James M. Shuart Stadium, rain or shine, and all graduates will be given two guest tickets. The ceremony will also be broadcast, so friends and family may share in the celebration of the graduates’ achievement. Visit for more information.


LIU University
May 13
Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium
In-person commencement to take place for students at the C.W. Post, Brentwood and Riverhead campuses. Each graduate limited to two guests per ceremony, which will also be streamed live on the Commencement website. New York State COVID-19 protocols will be followed. Graduates will demonstrate proof of vaccination or a recent COVID-19 test to participate in the ceremony. In addition, social distancing and face coverings will be required throughout the ceremony. Due to space limitations, more than one ceremony may be held depending on the number of graduates that would like to participate. Any graduate unable to attend in-person will receive a link to view the ceremony live. In addition, graduates attending virtually are encouraged to submit their commemorative virtual slide that will be available on the Commencement website (


Molloy College
May 18 & May 19
Drive-In Commencement ceremony. Graduates will receive an email from Marching Order to RSVP. Graduates must RSVP for the commencement ceremony. Every graduate will be permitted one car to their assigned ceremony date and time and only graduates will be permitted to leave their vehicle. Friends/families must remain in the vehicle for the duration of ceremony. Masks must be worn and social distancing must be maintained. Visit for more information.

Nassau Community College
May 23
A Virtual Commencement Ceremony is being tentatively scheduled with details on the ceremony still being finalized. Visit for more information.

New York Institute of Technology
May 23
This year’s commencement will be virtual and incorporate all of New York Tech’s traditional ceremonial components, including addresses by President Hank Foley, Board of Trustees Chair Kevin Silva, and the conferral of student degrees. Each graduate will be recognized with a slide that can be customized with a photo and personal message. In addition, it can be downloaded and shared on social media after the event. Visit for more information.

May 19
A Virtual Commencement Ceremony will be held and the Class of 2021 will be invited to return for an in-person ceremony when public health guidelines permit the school to do so. Individual schools will be in touch with their students to outline their plans for school-based ceremonies and information will be posted on as it becomes available.


St. John’s University
May 17 to May 23
Virtual Commencement and Degree Conferral Ceremonies will fulfill the traditional academic protocols that, upon completion of required academic coursework, make individuals official college graduates. In-person celebrations in the future—hopefully during the summer—are being planned with the hopes that graduates and their families can gather in larger numbers to celebrate this important milestone. Visit for more information.


Stony Brook University
May 19 to May 21
Ten ceremonies will be held outdoors at LaValle Stadium rain or shine. Currently, due to New York State mandates regarding venue capacities, no guest tickets will be issued at this time. All ceremonies will be live streamed and a recording of each ceremony will live on the Commencement website following the event. Visit for more information.

Suffolk County Community College
May 20
On that day, a virtual ceremony will be available online for viewing and it will remain available online through the fall. The virtual ceremony will include student speakers from each campus, remarks from college leadership and greetings from faculty. Visit for more information.


SUNY Old Westbury
May 23
Commencement will be virtual. The ceremony will include commencement speakers, the official degree conferral and tassel moving. The ceremony will highlight each individual graduate with a slide of their name, degree, photo and special message, and each name will be called one-by-one by major. Visit for more information.

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